1.4 million older adults are confined to nursing homes for the crimes of frailty and dementia, serving life sentences without parole, lying in bed or sitting beside it, imprisoned by helplessness, waiting to die, yet clinging to lives of crushing emptiness.
The elderly would have access to showers, hobbies and walks. They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheelchairs, etc. And, they’d receive money instead of paying it out.
They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly if they fell or needed assistance.
Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be washed, ironed and returned to them.
A guard would check on them every 20 minutes, and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.
They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose. They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counseling, pool and education.
Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJs and legal aid would be free, on request. The elderly would all have private, secure rooms, and an outdoor exercise yard with gardens.
Every elderly person could have a computer, a TV, radio, and daily phone calls. A board of directors would hear complaints, and guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.
Criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. They would live in a tiny room, pay $5,000 a month, and have no hope of ever getting out.
Justice for all.
This little story is obviously tongue-in-cheek, but it does call attention to how poorly our elderly are treated in too many nursing homes. While there are many excellent nursing homes, we still have a long way to go. It’s simply not right to treat elderly people as second-class citizens to be managed as efficiently as possible until they die.
Now, It’s Your Turn!
What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below.